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Cloud-based machine remote-access: how secure is it?
For machine builders that offer remote access support and diagnostics for their installed machines, security is obviously a major concern. Security is also a concern for the IT staff at the end-user (end-customer) sites, where these machines are located. Dave Hammond, Product Manager for Ethernet & Communications at M.A.C. Solutions, explores this topic.
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Gas control for metal surface treatments
In recent years there has been significant growth in the use and diversity of different techniques for metal surface treatment, thanks to the ability of these processes to alter the surface properties of a material without affecting the bulk characteristics. In order to gain maximum benefit from these techniques it is essential that the process systems employed on the application machines use highly precise and dependable gas control and flow measurement equipment. Tony Brennan, Field Segment Manager gas at Bürkert Fluid Control Systems, looks at the some of the techniques and technologies behind precise gas flow control and how it can benefit OEMs and end users alike.
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Protecting your production line
Back in June 2010, malware computer program Stuxnet hit the headlines as the first computer worm to target modern supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and programmable logic controller (PLC) systems. Industrial control system (ICS) users became aware of how software hackers and malware could affect operation. Back then, you’d be forgiven for thinking that as a regular ICS or SCADA user, you had nothing to worry about. Five years on, everything has changed. Here Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of industrial automation parts supplier European Automation discusses advances in malware and why smaller manufacturing businesses might be in danger.
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The art of design validation and verification
We’ve all seen Russian nesting dolls, each perfectly decorated doll giving way to a smaller one inside. Every one of those little dolls is hand turned, carefully decorated and finished with a fine gloss. Medical device design operates on a similar concept, layering smaller components together to form one machine, each component tailored to the needs of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Design verification and validation are akin to the finishing gloss, and aren’t reserved for the largest doll – or completed product; each component gets the same gloss. Here, Gareth Hancox, engineering and commercial support manager at Accutronics, explains the layers of verification and validation.
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How cloud computing is changing industrial automation
Traditionally, the manufacturing industry has been slow to embrace new technological platforms, but in recent years the introduction and success of cloud computing has meant this technology is becoming vital for manufacturers. Here, Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of industrial automation supplier European Automation examines how cloud computing is disrupting industrial automation.
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Sensitive about sphere size: food inspection metal detectors
The standard technique for measuring the sensitivity of food inspection metal detectors is to use metal test spheres. Although this type of spherical testing tool is typically expressed by diameter in millimetres, in the real world metal contaminants are more likely to be non-spherical or an irregular shape. Phil Brown, Sales Director at Fortress Technology explains why spheres are used and why a size detection improvement as little as 0.5mm can cut the risk of metal fragments entering the production chain.
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Pros and cons of alternative code reading technologies
Tim Stokes, an auto ident specialist with Sick (UK), discusses the alternative technologies that are available for automatic part identification, and how to select the right one for a given application.
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Three things you didn’t know about IIoT
The human brain is a wonderful thing that works tirelessly from the day we are born until the day we die, only stopping on special occasions, like when presenting in front of large audiences. We have been studying the brain for many centuries, but we still know relatively little about the trillions of connections that make it work. Creating a road map of the brain is a bit like trying to map out the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT is a concept that has intrigued industry for several years now, but much like the human brain, is not yet fully understood.
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